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Toad&Co Hires People With Disabilities and Sends Them on More Accessible Vacations

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Toad&Co is an outdoor clothing retailer with a mission as cool as its clothes. In addition to promoting environmental protections and sustainability, it strives to help people with disabilities not only find employment but experience the great outdoors in a more accessible way, a mission it’s promoted by hiring people with disabilities and then sending them on memorable vacations.

In 1997, Toad&Co cofounded Planet Access Company (PAC), a third-party logistics company which employs people with disabilities. Approximately 40 percent of the Chicago-based warehouse’s permanent employees have a disability. PAC also hosts a training program for employees with intellectual disabilities — providing up to 70 paid, train-to-work opportunities — that teaches product assembly, order processing and how to handle materials.

In 2001, Toad&Co founded Search for Adventure, a nonprofit organization which sends adults with disabilities on “once-in-a-lifetime” trips. Since then more than 200 disabled people, including PAC employees, have gotten to participate in the organization’s 80-plus excursions, including trips to places such as the Appalachian Trail, the Bahamas and New York City. The company also sponsors an annual trip to its headquarters in Santa Barbara, California

“Supporting adults with disabilities has been an important part of our business and social mission since Toad&Co was founded 20 years ago,” Sarah Matt, Toad&Co’s vice president of brand and marketing, told The Mighty. “We believe, without exception, that opportunity and adventures in nature are possible, and more importantly – beneficial – for everyone.”

To support its initiatives, Toad&Co donates part of its proceeds to its programs supporting those with disabilities. Adding to its philanthropy, the company will donate 100 percent of proceeds from its graphic tees and tanks collection during March – Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – to sending those with disabilities on more trips.

Thinkstock image via peppi18.

Originally published: March 9, 2017
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